New Approach Revolutionizes Total Hip Replacement – Takes Weeks, Even Months, Off Recovery Time

May 11, 2010

Until recently, nearly all total hip replacements were performed through incisions on the side or a little toward the back of the hip. It is still a reliable and effective technique. But recent developments have made a new approach possible. Called anterior total hip replacement, the incision is made in the front of the hip.  Aniefiok Uyoe, MD, board certified, fellowship trained adult reconstructive orthopedic surgeon at Floyd Memorial, explains why this is such a significant and exciting option for many patients.

“Floyd Memorial is the only hospital in Southern Indiana that offers minimally invasive anterior total hip replacement using an innovative arthroplasty surgical table. The advantage in performing hip replacement that is much easier on the patient. It’s a muscle-sparing procedure that reduces pain and greatly speeds recovery.”

Aniefiok Uyoe, M.D.
Board Certified, Fellowship
Trained Orthopedic Surgeon
Floyd Memorial Orthopedic Group

No Muscles Are Cut, So Healing Is Faster

According to Dr Uyoe, “The anterior, or front, approach is muscle-sparing. The surgeon can take advantage of the natural muscle planes and avoid cutting through them. That makes recovery much faster and less painful.
Patients can get back to activities like driving quickly.” Recovery typically takes just two to eight weeks instead of two to four months.

Old Precautions No Longer Apply

“Following traditional hip replacement surgery, patients are advised not to sit on low surfaces, cross their legs or bend over,” said Dr. Uyoe. “However, when the anterior approach is used, these precautions are not needed. Patients are able and encouraged to resume normal, low impact activities.

It Is Truly Minimally Invasive

As Dr. Uyoe explained, “The anterior surgery is performed through a much smaller incision than the traditional procedure. But what matters most is what you’re doing to the soft tissues underneath the incision. And
this procedure is truly minimally invasive in that there is very little disturbance of muscles and tendons.”

Who Is and Isn’t a Good Candidate?

“Some individuals are not good candidates for the anterior procedure and are more likely to require the traditional approach,” said Dr. Uyoe. “Among them are obese individuals, people who’ve had previous hip surgery, those with certain anatomical abnormalities such as hip dysplasia, and young men who are excessively muscular. For most others, however, the anterior approach offers tremendous benefits.”

Average incision length for most anterior total hip replacements is only 8-10 cm long. The incision is made between three muscles, the tensor fascia lata, sartorius, and rectus femoris, sparing each from being cut.

Leading-Edge Technology and Engineering Make the Surgery Feasible

A number of recent advancements have made the anterior approach to hip replacement more feasible for patients. “The new hana® Hip and Knee Arthroplasty Surgical Table that Floyd Memorial acquired is a good example,” said Dr. Uyoe. “The surgery can be done without it, but because of the way the table allows us to position the patient, it is a tremendous advantage to both the surgeon and the patient. It demonstrates the hospital’s commitment to excellence in orthopedics. The hospital also has the advanced C-arm X-ray equipment that lets us visualize everything in real time. When we’re finished with the surgery, we can make sure all the components are properly implanted. And, we can check to make sure the legs are equal in length.”

hana® Hip and Knee Arthroplasty Surgical Table

Dr. Uyoe added that many surgical instruments and implants have also been reengineered to accommodate the new anterior approach. “Older replacement joints were difficult to insert from the front,” he said, “But the new implants are much easier to put in. They also allow us to conserve more of the patient’s natural bone.”

Free Total Joint Replacement Seminars

Learn about advanced treatments that may offer dramatic relief of your knee or hip pain. A Floyd Memorial orthopedic surgeon, nurse and physical therapist will discuss medications, exercise and total joint replacement surgery on May 18 and June 22, from 6 to 7 p.m. in the hospital’s Paris Health Education Center.

actionPlease register by calling 1-800-4-SOURCE or visiting us online at www.floydmemorial.com.

actionCall 812-944-BONE (2663) to schedule an appointment with Dr. Uyoe today